Thread: 22 Hornet
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Old December 4, 2012, 02:16 PM   #1
pdunton
Junior Member
 
Join Date: December 4, 2012
Location: Sunny Tucson, Arizona
Posts: 2
22 Hornet

I stumbled onto this forum while searching usage of 22 Hornet as a "survival " round.
Having just completed several weeks of chronographing 22 Hornet handloads, I thought some on the forum could use the results.
Background: I use an old Savage 24V in 22 Hornet over a 3" 20 guage full-choke shotgun barrel. I also use an old Pact chronograph for real world firing data.
20 years or more ago Veral at Lead Bullet Technologies had me make an impression of the Hornet chamber and he used that to make me a very fine bullet mold that casts 45 grain flat nose lead bullets that cut consistent clover leafs at 50 yds. That bullet, driven at 2250 fps. muzzle velocity is my consistent game getter.
Load is: Winchester case, 8.0 grains SR4759, WSPM primers.

Recently started work with a Lyman pattern 225438 bullet mold. This makes a round nose bullet of 44 grain weight (with gas check) if cast in Linotype.
Simulation of the various 22 Long Rifle cartridge loadings using this bullet is simple, cost per round is minimal, and flexibility is excellent.
A standard 22 LR load is specified to run 1080 fps. The 225438 driven by 4.0 gr. SR4759 with a WSPM primer duplicates the load exactly in my rifle.
Going to a "hi velocity" load steps the charge up to 4.4 gr. SR4759 for 1200 fps. 5.2 grains of SR 4759 steps up again to a "hyper velocity" 22 LR load at 1450 fps. All of these loads were made with the magnum small pistol primers. The only reason for using that primer is that I have an almost full carton of them on hand. Testing using standard small pistol primers shows a 50 to 85 fps. velocity reduction depending on the exact load.
The loads described above were developed using Winchester cases. I haven't seen any new Remington cases in awhile but have a number of them on hand and tested some of the loads in them. The Remington cases consistently need +.2 grains of the SR4759 to match the velocities of the loads in the Winchester cases. Don't understand all there is to know about that. I assume there is a difference in case volume.
I think the 225438 at 1450 fps. will be my main "carry ammo" for the future. Accuracy is plenty good for my old eyes, running 3-4" at 100 yards. Barrel leading is non-existant and penetration is good. A gallon jug of water at 75 yards makes a satisfying shower when hit by the round.
I use the 4.0 grain loading for occasions where a low sound signature is required. It is essentially sub-sonic in nature. Anticipated use would be for something like handling a house cat crossing the back yard with a quail chick in it's mouth, without getting the neighbors excited and hostile. (If such a thing ever would occur, of course.)
I have also worked with Hogdon's Lil Gun powder in the Hornet but, so far, have not been particularly impressed. My factory replacement load is a 45 gr. jacketed bullet over 10.5 gr. WW296/H110 and a CCI400 primer. This gives 2700 fps. at 10 feet and an outstanding Standard Deviation of 4.2. 10.0 gr. of Lil Gun gives the same velocity but an SD of 52. This SD figure implies a pretty large variation in muzzle velocities compared to the WW296/H110.

Main message is for those wondering if the 22 Hornet makes a good "survival round", the answer is YES, and a few pounds of lead alloy, a pound of SR4759, and a few hundred primers will last a LONG time!
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